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Incomplete Product Labeling Leads to Recalls

Are Your Product Labels Up to Date?

Product labeling is one of the major regulatory necessities any food or beverage producer has to check off when getting products to market. If you make an omission from an ingredients listing or fail to affix a mandated safety label, the result could be a lengthy and costly recall process. When laying out your product labels, you should be mindful of every piece of information consumers are required to know.

To show what happens when brands fail to live up to these standards, here is a list of recent recalls due to omissions or inaccuracies on product labels:

Incomplete Listings Bring Recalls

There are several circumstances that can lead to a product recall. For instance, goods that may be contaminated by unintended ingredients or outside substances are frequently pulled from shelves. This listing will focus only on recalls based on label contents, however. This shows that even if a product itself is manufactured correctly and up to standards, a failure to get the packaging right can still cause a full-scale recall effort.

1. Gerber Baby Food NBC affiliate KTLX recently reported on Gerber's recall of one of its many baby food products. The item in question, Cheese Ravioli Pasta Pick-Ups, does not disclose the presence of egg allergens as required. The producer's mistake was subtle: Egg does appear on the list of ingredients, but is not present on a "contains" list designed to disclose potential allergens. In worst case scenarios, the product could cause an allergic reaction in people sensitive to eggs who aren't alerted to the ingredient's presence, hence the recall.

2. Whiskey Hill Jerky The United States Department of Agriculture announced a recall of Whiskey Hill Smokehouse, LLC's jerky products. As with the Gerber situation, these items contain an undisclosed allergen. In Whiskey Hill's case, however, the ingredient is soy instead of egg. This example shows just how wide a swath of products can be recalled, as the order hits jerky made from beef, venison and ostrich meat.

3. Sunshine Bakery Cakes Sometimes, brands snap into action before a federal agency demands a recall. According to an FDA release issued through US Recall News, Sunshine Bakery decided to voluntarily call back two of its cake varieties - the cassava cake and the mixed nut mooncake. As with the above issues, the problem here is an undisclosed allergen or, rather, several. Sunshine's products contain peanut, coconut, almond and cashew allergens. Some of the recalled items additionally include sunflower seeds.

4. Picone Meat Specialties In today's final example, 5,750 pounds of salami are going back to Picone Meat Specialties, LTD. The USDA recall is because of the presence of non-fat dry milk. The USDA's statement on this action shows the process behind an agency-mandated recall. The Food Safety and Inspection Service, a division of the USDA, performed a check of Picone's salami and found that there were undisclosed ingredients present. The recall was a direct result due to the fact that non-fat dry milk is one of the FSIS's known allergens.

Keep Up with Product Labeling

Clearly, you don't want to end up in one of the situations described above. Avoiding the challenging logistics of recalling 5,000 pounds of salami - or anything else - should be a top priority. When working on label design, you should carefully review them to ensure small mistakes don't end up costing your business time and money.

Considering the changes coming to food rules in the immediate future, labeling for your products should be on your mind right now even before taking recall risks into consideration. Updated nutrition facts listing rules are coming in the years ahead, meaning you have yet another regulatory compliance hurdle to jump. For all these challenges, however, some elements of the labeling process can be easy - provided you work with the right third party.

Lightning Labels can be a valuable partner for a small or medium-sized food or beverage producer, offering quick turnaround times and small minimum order sizes. The latter fact may prove especially helpful in the years ahead. Changes to regulations are fairly common, and brands that are forced to order large amounts of product labels at once may end up with noncompliant and unusable labels once new rules pass. Low minimums also leave brands free to redesign their packaging often to let their look change with the seasons.

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Material Descriptions

Materials

BIOSTONE

One of our eco-friendly options that is actually made of stone—no trees are used. This material should not laminated.

CAST GLOSS

This is another material specially designed for the wine industry. It is paper-based with a high-gloss white finish. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CHROME (SILVER) BOPP

This material has the same water and oil-resistant properties as our White BOPP and Clear BOPP, but has the "mirror-like" look of shiny chrome.

CLASSIC CREST

Best suited for wine labels, this is a white paper stock with a dull matte finish. It is not suitable for lamination and is therefore not waterproof. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CLEAR BOPP

This is the clear version of the Polypropylene (BOPP) material. It has the same waterproof qualities as the White BOPP. It provides more of a "no label" look and is also suitable for window stickers (where reverse printing of the image allows the label to be applied to the inside of a glass window and be viewed from the outside).

ESTATE #9

This is a great option for wine labels, gourmet foods or applications where a textured finish is desired. Being a paper stock, it's not as water-resistant or durable as BOPP, but its light cream color and textured feel add a touch of the "unusual" to the right product. It features a special adhesive (removable in 100+ degree hot water) and a stronger liner particularly suited to machine application. Not suitable for lamination.

GOLD POLYESTER (METALIZED)

This material will make your labels shine! Suitable for most labeling applications, it has a strong adhesive backing and must be laminated. Choose glossy laminate to make your label designs pop, or matte for a unique, elegant look.

KRAFT (RECYCLED)

This is a recycled 100% post consumer waste material. It is a 55# paper material that is a wonderful option if an “earthy” appearance is desired. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water. It is not suitable for lamination; therefore, it is not water or oil resistant.

REMOVABLE WHITE BOPP

This material is the same as our standard BOPP, but has a special, "less aggressive" adhesive designed to allow the label to be removed or re-positioned after application. Depending on the surface it will be applied to, customer testing is strongly recommended. We can provide samples for this purpose.

SATIN CLOTH

Quite the unique material! Yes, it is woven satin acetate cloth. Think wine or spirit labels! This material will make your product packaging POP. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

SQUEEZABLE

A white, 3mil film that is better suited for squeezable applications. This material has proven to work well in a variety of applications, so you can be confident it will perform well for you.

VELLUM (RECYCLED)

A great “green” choice, this 60# vellum is 100% recycled with 100% post consumer waste material. Cannot be laminated. Is neither water nor oil-resistant. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

WHITE BOPP

This is our most commonly used material and is suitable for most applications. It's a polypropylene material with a permanent adhesive. It is impervious to water and oils, and is particularly suitable for bath and body products, as well as food containers.

WHITE EARTHFIRST PLA

A more environmentally friendly alternative to White BOPP. The PLA stands for Polylactic Acid (a biopolymer made from corn rather than petrochemicals). Similar look and feel to BOPP and suitable for most applications, but should not be used directly on candle containers.

WHITE FLEXIBLE VINYL

This is our most substantial material. The vinyl is thicker than BOPP, and is most suitable for outdoor applications where greater strength and durability are needed, or where lengthy exposure to the elements is an issue.

WINDOW DECAL (CLEAR/ULTRA-REMOVABLE)

We offer this window decal option as an alternative to static cling. The face stock is clear with excellent clarity. The adhesive is an ultra-removable featuring excellent weatherability and UV resistance. It removes cleanly from a wide variety of substrates without staining or ghosting. Why worry about static clings staying on when you can have removable adhesive there to hold it in place?

CAST GLOSS

This is another material specially designed for the wine industry. It is paper-based with a high-gloss white finish. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CHROME (SILVER) BOPP

This material has the same water and oil-resistant properties as our White BOPP and Clear BOPP, but has the "mirror-like" look of shiny chrome.

CLASSIC CREST

Best suited for wine labels, this is a white paper stock with a dull matte finish. It is not suitable for lamination and is therefore not waterproof. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CLEAR BOPP

This is the clear version of the Polypropylene (BOPP) material. It has the same waterproof qualities as the White BOPP. It provides more of a "no label" look and is also suitable for window stickers (where reverse printing of the image allows the label to be applied to the inside of a glass window and be viewed from the outside).

ESTATE #9

This is a great option for wine labels, gourmet foods or applications where a textured finish is desired. Being a paper stock, it's not as water-resistant or durable as BOPP, but its light cream color and textured feel add a touch of the "unusual" to the right product. It features a special adhesive (removable in 100+ degree hot water) and a stronger liner particularly suited to machine application. Not suitable for lamination.

GOLD POLYESTER (METALIZED)

This material will make your labels shine! Suitable for most labeling applications, it has a strong adhesive backing and must be laminated. Choose glossy laminate to make your label designs pop, or matte for a unique, elegant look.

KRAFT (RECYCLED)

This is a recycled 100% post consumer waste material. It is a 55# paper material that is a wonderful option if an “earthy” appearance is desired. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water. It is not suitable for lamination; therefore, it is not water or oil resistant.

REMOVABLE WHITE BOPP

This material is the same as our standard BOPP, but has a special, "less aggressive" adhesive designed to allow the label to be removed or re-positioned after application. Depending on the surface it will be applied to, customer testing is strongly recommended. We can provide samples for this purpose.

SATIN CLOTH

Quite the unique material! Yes, it is woven satin acetate cloth. Think wine or spirit labels! This material will make your product packaging POP. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

SQUEEZABLE

A white, 3mil film that is better suited for squeezable applications. This material has proven to work well in a variety of applications, so you can be confident it will perform well for you.

VELLUM (RECYCLED)

A great “green” choice, this 60# vellum is 100% recycled with 100% post consumer waste material. Cannot be laminated. Is neither water nor oil-resistant. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

WHITE BOPP

This is our most commonly used material and is suitable for most applications. It's a polypropylene material with a permanent adhesive. It is impervious to water and oils, and is particularly suitable for bath and body products, as well as food containers.

WHITE EARTHFIRST PLA

A more environmentally friendly alternative to White BOPP. The PLA stands for Polylactic Acid (a biopolymer made from corn rather than petrochemicals). Similar look and feel to BOPP and suitable for most applications, but should not be used directly on candle containers.

WHITE FLEXIBLE VINYL

This is our most substantial material. The vinyl is thicker than BOPP, and is most suitable for outdoor applications where greater strength and durability are needed, or where lengthy exposure to the elements is an issue.

WINDOW DECAL (CLEAR/ULTRA-REMOVABLE)

We offer this window decal option as an alternative to static cling. The face stock is clear with excellent clarity. The adhesive is an ultra-removable featuring excellent weatherability and UV resistance. It removes cleanly from a wide variety of substrates without staining or ghosting. Why worry about static clings staying on when you can have removable adhesive there to hold it in place?

Artwork Specifications

Laminates

High Gloss

High gloss is our most popular laminate. It is the least expensive option and provides protection for the label and a high gloss shiny finish.

Matte

The Matte Laminate provides your label with a dull, non-glossy finish. Some customers consider this achieves a more "natural" look.

Thermal Transfer

This is a gloss laminate that is designed to work with most over-printing thermal transfer printers. We do recommend you get samples first to test through your own printer before placing an order with this laminate.

UV Outdoor Gloss

As the name implies this is best used for labels that will be used outdoors. It has a high gloss finish with excellent UV resistance. It is best paired with our vinyl material for the most durable outdoor label.